Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Château Léoville Las Cases 1985

Château Léoville Las Cases 'Grand Vin de Leoville' Saint-Julien Bordeaux 1985

For a special milestone achievement event by son Sean, we pulled from the cellar a signature wine from his birthyear for a simple intimate family celebration.

Not only is this one of our perennial favorite revered labels from a Bordeaux 'super second' producer, but we're going to visit the Château during our upcoming trip to Bordeaux later this month.

In 1976, the 1971 vintage of Las Cases ranked number six among the ten French and California red wines in the historic "Judgment of Paris" wine competition.

According to our tasting notes, we last opened this vintage release just a couple weeks short of sixteen years ago. We also served this wine from large format six liter Imperial bottles from the 1981 birthyear vintage for our daughter Erin's wedding celebration a dozen years ago.

Château Léoville Las Cases 'Grand Vin de Leoville' Saint-Julien Bordeaux 1985

Amazing life left in this, considering the bottle showed minor seepage and a completely saturated cork reducing the fill level to mid-high shoulder. Even with a two pronged cork puller, the last 1/4 inch of the cork broke off. I could've saved it had I been more cautious and less deliberate in its removal.

This is a classic Bordeaux Blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Deep garnet colored with a slight hint of orange bricking, medium-full bodied, elegant, complex but nicely integrated dark berry and black cherry fruits with notes of floral violets, tobacco, oak and hints of graphite, cigar box and leather on a tangy black cherry lingering finish of supple smooth, polished tannins. Over the course of the evening, it opened more and more to reveal layers of floral and fruits and accents.

This wine got 98 points from Wine Spectator who called it "A fabulous wine; one of the first great Las Cases.", 94 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, and 95 points Wine Advocate's Neal Martin.

RM 94 points.